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Name, Title: Patsy Carruthers, Senior Director

College/Unit: UK Online

 Describe what you and/or your team does at UK. 

UK Online provides a continuum of services that supports the conceptualization, implementation, evaluation, and sustainment of online, virtual, and distance learning. We offer support for teaching and learning in online environments through teams that concentrate on the areas of Distance Learning Administration, Marketing, and Instructional Design and Educational Technology, including the Faculty Media Depot. By collaborating closely across our internal teams and building relationships with other units, colleges, and departments, UKO supports the growth of online programs; advises and maintains up-to-date information on licensure and regulatory matters; supports online student experience efforts; and acts as a hub for online communications and resources.

 Talk about the ways you’ve collaborated with ITS and how it impacted your work. 

We have long had a strong collaborative relationship with ITS. Whether we are consulting about software renewals, updating distance learning technology in campus classrooms or in virtual spaces, or developing related faculty and student support materials for ITS’s online Technology Help Center, we approach the technology considerations of online learning in partnership with several ITS teams and individuals. Recently, we have consulted ITS about upcoming AI-related feature changes to current enterprise software. In UKO our technology focus is user-centered virtual and distance course development and delivery in partnership with programs, faculty, and other units to ensure a quality experience for teaching and learning activities. As we learn about changes on the horizon, we bring them to the ITS Security Team and others who can advise from a more technical point of view about what we are seeing and what it will mean for faculty and students. I’m a pretty service-oriented professional, and so one of my favorite relationships is with the Service Desk and the people who develop support materials for the Tech Help Center. Whenever I reach out and say something like, “Hey, did you hear about this update that’s coming to Canvas?” for example, the answer is often, “Not until you told me, but I just built this support article for it. Will you take a look?” How great is it to be able to check in with someone and come away with something new and helpful? Of course, that means I know people when I need information, too!